In their Spring newsletter, our security contractor Sight and Sound Security announced that Mike Noble receives the Officer of the Month Award.
Mike has started his work at the college in August 2019 and has over 20 years of work experience within the security industry and an enthusiasm to improve procedures. We are very grateful to have Mike on campus and work together with him and his team to ensure that students and staff are safe. We are looking forward to seeing him again in our new facilities once the college reopens.
Mark Brough, Commercial Facilities Manager at RuTC, said, “Mike is a very experienced security officer for Sight and Sound Security and was also promoted to Supervisor for the contract at our college last year. Mike knows the site well and ensures he and his team not only maintain the security of the college to a high standard but develop professional and friendly relationships with student and staff alike. The award is well deserved and we look forward to continuing to work closely with Mike and the rest of the team at Sight and Sound Security to ensure the security and safety of our students, staff and college.”
Our students and staff have been learning and teaching remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic and RuTC uses all the latest software to deliver the best possible learning experience. However, some students go the extra mile and use their spare time to help the local community and the NHS.
Ben Grace, Engineering Level 2 student at RuTC, has been producing personal protective equipment (PPE) parts with his 3D printer at home to support key workers at the frontline. In a social media post he shared his amazing work and encouraged everyone to give as much support as they can. He said, “I signed up to 3DCROWD.UK initially to use my 3D printer to help this amazing cause. I have been helping out for over two weeks now volunteering my spare time and have now become one of the local coordinators for West London, organising local hubs where makers like myself can send our printed parts to be assembled and given to the people in the frontline.”
3DCrowd UK was one of the first who responded to the PPE shortage and has grown from a handful of people to over 6,000 volunteers who use their own 3D printers to produce face shields. 39,000 face shields will be delivered to key workers at the COVID-19 frontline in the upcoming weeks, with the production of more parts continuing.
Simon Walker, Construction Crafts technician and tutor at RuTC, said, “As Ben's tutor I am immensely proud of his achievements. If there were just two things I would want for my students it would be curiosity and confidence. This project and his attitude towards it have given Ben both in heaps. Ben has also gained valuable experience for his course. Gaining first-hand knowledge of material selection, the design and manufacturing processes and assessing quality control. In tutor groups, we discuss emotional intelligence, feelings, sense of purpose, behaviour and how they are all interrelated. This has shown us that in any given moment we all have the ability to choose how we feel and behave. Well done to Ben and the NHS.”
Even though RuTC’s new college campus is currently closed, prospective students can still apply online for a course to join the college in September 2020.
I have recently taken over as Chair of Governors at Richmond upon Thames College and wanted to introduce myself and provide a brief update on College activities. I am keen to meet key partners and stakeholders in the College and I will be in touch shortly to progress this with you.
In terms of my background, I have previous served as a Further Education College Governor and Chair of Governors. In my day job, I work as civil servant at the Department for Education with experience of qualifications and curriculum policy and delivery, 14-19 education reform and children’s social care. I am extremely pleased to be joining Richmond upon Thames College at an incredibly important moment in the College’s history. We are already moving into the first phase of our new campus and the next phase of campus redevelopment will be nothing less than transformative – laying the foundations of a College for the future that will meet the needs of our students, local communities and employers in a rapidly changing world.
There have been a number of exciting and key developments that have taken place at Richmond upon Thames College over the last few months:
New College Campus
At the end of February 2020, ISG (construction company) completed phase 1 of our new College campus and we officially took over the keys and started a phased move of staff and students into the new building. Our Supported Learning students were the first group of learners to enjoy the amazing new building and facilities. Our new building is technologically advanced and all students will experience state of the art facilities and benefit from digital learning. Our IT students have enjoyed a period of work experience by assisting the College’s dedicated IT team to ensure that all our computing and technology systems are set up and ready to go.
On Tuesday 10 March, we hosted our first big event in the new building. 300 prospective students visited our Open Event and we received outstanding feedback from our visitors. One student fed back, “I was not only intrigued by the building but the courses and curriculum provided by Richmond upon Thames College. As I interacted with staff and students I was encouraged to study criminology, sociology and psychology because the teachers gave me a clear explanation about the courses. Furthermore, everyone was really friendly, the learning environment was very nice and staff and students portrayed kindness towards me.”
In addition to the thousands of prospective students who are keen to study at the College, our new building has also been recognised within the construction industry. It is being considered for a Considerate Constructors Scheme 2020 National Site Award and REL Building Services has been shortlisted in the Heating and Ventilation News Awards Project of the Year category for its role in delivering the new campus with us.
Remote Teaching and Learning
Due to the current circumstances and Government advice regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), students and staff are currently not able to enjoy the new facilities and are learning and working from home. Over recent months, all staff have been working with Microsoft Office 365 and adopting new methods of teaching and learning using sophisticated digital software packages. Over the last couple of weeks, our teaching staff have contacted our learning community with information on how to adapt to remote and new ways of working. We know these are unsettling times for our students and we have set up a number of teaching and support services to help them during this difficult time including regular communication and updates using a number of different communication channels.
FEC Report and Further Developments
In March, the Further Education Commissioner (FEC) published his October 2019 report on the College. A significant amount of work to improve the College’s financial position has taken place since October 2019. An Integrated Financial Model (which all Colleges have to complete) has now been submitted to the DfE. It shows the College returning to ‘good’ financial health next year following the work undertaken across the College this year.
On Wednesday 18 March, Richmond upon Thames College Board approved plans for the second phase of our £80 million campus redevelopment moments away from the national home of English rugby in Twickenham and a close neighbour of Harlequins Rugby Club.
The next phase sees the construction of our STEM Centre which will provide a “state of the art” environment for training in engineering, science (including forensic sciences) and robotics and a brand new Sports building to further develop our sports programmes.
At this Board meeting, the College Chair, Nick Deeming, decided that with the second phase of the campus redevelopment agreed it was now the right time for him to step down and pursue his own business commitments.
Although the College is currently closed, prospective students can still apply online for a place in September 2020 and join the first cohort of students to benefit from phase one of our spectacular new £80 million building development and our dedicated team of expert teachers and support staff.
We hope you have found the above information interesting and I will keep you updated on further developments in due course.